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3 Books to Read if You Love Reality TV

3 Books to Read if You Love Reality TV

By CamCat Books Date: October 23, 2023 Tags: Books to Live In

by MC Smitherman

Hey readers, we’ve got a fun fall treat for you! This October, check out the CamCat blog to find a new post up each week. Four blog posts this month will include a different giveaway for fun-filled books to curl up to this fall season. At the end of the month, one lucky winner will be pulled from those who entered any of the giveaways over the course of the month to win a stack of spooky new releases. This week, we’re giving away one copy of Beneath the Marigolds by Emily C. Whitson. Enter at the link below. Must be 18 years or older to enter and live in the continental U.S. Good luck!

Beneath the Marigolds Giveaway


It seems like these days, reality shows are everywhere. From following the rich and famous, to watching hot people find love, all the way to elaborate survival-based game shows which make you question the legality of some of those situations, every streaming service and cable provider has a handful of reality shows eager to draw in viewers. We’re talking about them here today because the drama oozing out of these shows has made its way into the CamCat library!

If you’re a fan of The Bachelor and its many spin-offs, or romantic comedies intertwined with pop star shenanigans, then we recommend you check out Managing the Matthews by Haleigh Wenger. In this book you get to view the pinnacle of Hollywood romance and the not-so-real nature of reality TV as true love and heartbreak are intermingled amongst scripted dates and fake drama.

But perhaps your reality TV preference involves things going wrong. And I mean, really wrong. Maybe when watching The Bachelor you were really hoping for a secret conspiracy to unfold and take over the cheesy romance on display. If that’s more your speed, give Beneath the Marigolds by Emily C. Whitson a read. As Ann Stone infiltrates an exclusive and lavish retreat to follow the trail of her missing best friend, she realizes that there’s more than meets the eye and maybe more danger than she can walk away from.

Or finally, if the hinting of darkness was just a mere whisper of what you’re looking for as you enjoy the intensity and death-defying stakes of series like The Hunger Games or Squid Games, then we’ve got just the right read to satiate your dark passenger. Death Warrant by Bryan Johnston follows Frankie Percival as she puts her life on the line to save her brother by going on the Death Warrant TV show where the hook of this wildly popular reality program is that by being on it, she’s agreed to be killed live on television. The “only” catch is that her memory has been wiped, so she has no idea she will soon be killed spectacularly for global entertainment. 

From romantic-comedy to dark satire, we’ve got what your heart craves as you run out of reality shows to binge but are looking for that next taste of delicious drama.


Managing the Matthews

Nothing’s real on reality TV—or is it?

Everyone knows Kell Simmons manages the Matthews brothers, the three hottest stars in Hollywood: action hero Ryan, romantic lead Ash, and sports star Jonah. But no one knows that she’s hopelessly in love with one of them.

When Ryan’s surprise engagement to a fan just about breaks Kell’s heart, Ash, himself unhappily in love, lends his shoulder to cry on. All this is great fodder for the brothers' very own reality TV show, and soon the days of their lives are filled with scripted dates, fake drama, and real heartache—all in front of a camera.

As the brothers’ popularity skyrockets into the stratosphere, Kell finds herself wondering how much, if any, of the spotlight she wants, if it means foregoing real love for fun and games on TV.


Beneath the Marigolds

Playing on our universal fascination with reality TV, Emily Whitson’s Beneath the Marigolds is the Bachelor(ette) gone terribly wrong. 

Reese Marigold saved Ann Stone from a life of addiction by introducing Ann to AA and serving as her sponsor in recovery. Despite their differences—Reese is a hopeless romantic, while Ann is a no-nonsense attorney—the women remain close ten years later. So when Reese goes missing after attending Last Chance, an exclusive singles’ retreat off the coast of Hawaii, Ann infiltrates the retreat. 

Quickly, Ann realizes there’s more to Last Chance than meets the eye. With its extravagant clothes, never-ending interviews, and bizarre dates, Ann begins to suspect the retreat is a front for a reality dating show. Could Reese be safe and sound, keeping a low profile until the premier, or did something more sinister occur? As Ann traces Reese’s last known movements, partakes in the unusual “journey,” and meets the other attendees who all have something to hide, she jeopardizes her career, her sanity, and her life to find her missing friend. 

Told from the perspective of both Ann and Reese, Beneath the Marigolds is a fast-paced thriller that explores friendship, women in recovery, and the traditional marriage path idealized by today’s numerous dating and relationship reality shows.


Death Warrant

death warrant

Death Makes Great TV.

Frankie Percival is cashing in her chips. To save her brother from financial ruin, Frankie—a single stage performer and mentalist who never made it big—agrees to be assassinated on the most popular television show on the planet: Death Warrant. Once she signs her life away, her memory is wiped clean of the agreement, leaving her with no idea she will soon be killed spectacularly for global entertainment.

After years of working in low-rent theaters, Frankie prepares for the biggest performance of her life as her Death Warrant assassin closes in on her. Every person she encounters could be her killer. Every day could be her last.

She could be a star, if only she lives that long.


Thank you so much for checking out our recommendations.

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